Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home
I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now
- from the song "Homesick" by Mercy Me.
"And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home."
- from the song "If I Stand", by Rich Mullins.
Have you ever been homesick? I don't mean the homesickness of wanting to go back to the house you grew up in, or traveling and wishing you were back in your own bed at home. I mean the homesickness of grieving this world and just longing for heaven - our final, true home.
When Bart Millard of the band Mercy Me was asked about the meaning behind the lyrics of "Homesick" (the song I quoted above) he said he wrote it after his brother-in-law was killed in a car accident. He said, "It talks about getting the raw end of the deal when your loved one passes on and you stay here with the pain of not having them. Of course, having that person as an investment in heaven really makes you homesick all the more. We're just passing through this place, and heaven is our ultimate home."
There are times when I just feel like I can't take this world anymore and just long for heaven, when my life is barraged with loss and everything that is broken and wrong with this sinful, fallen world. Sometimes I just don't understand why we have to stay here and endure it all. Do you ever feel that way? What do you do or what have you found that helps to bring you out of this funky feeling? Is this what Matthew 5 is talking about ("Blessed are those who mourn...")? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts.
P.S. Just as I was finishing this post, I read a friend's blog, and discovered he's posting/talking about a very closely related topic. I encourage you to check it out, and participate in that discussion as well.
P.P.S. I thought some of you might be interested in the picture I used above. It is a close-up shot of the Angel of Grief, a 1894 sculpture by William Wetmore Story that he created in memory of his wife Emelyn, and serves as the grave stone for both the artist and his wife at the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, Italy. I think it is a beautiful and unusual piece of sculpture. You can see more pictures of it here.